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Bruce Dowbiggin

Hyperbole Is Dead. Big Brother Killed Him

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Antietam, Maryland: On Sept 17, 1862, the combined forces of the Union Army (under George McLellan) and the Confederate army (under Robert E. Lee) met on sleepy farmland west of Washington. When the ten hours of vicious fighting was done, there was an appalling 22,717 casualties. It still stands as the most lethal day in American military history.

History records it as a draw, although the Union army stopped an attack by Lee’s 30,000-man army on the U.S. capital. Walking the rolling lands alongside the Potomac River with Matthew Brady’s grisly photographic record in mind a modern visitor would ask how did it come to this slaughter? What issue was so divisive that it led to this?

The issue as seen today was slavery, although the Confederates would say it was states’ rights. From the day the ink dried on the Declaration of Independence the issue of slavery pointed to that day in 1862. Attempts to reconcile the issue of the South’s dependence on slavery produced failed compromises (The Great Compromise of 1787) and the creation of the Republican Party.

It all failed. The reason? For 75 years, the two sides divorced themselves from one another, demonizing and distancing in escalating rhetoric and political corruption. With the election of Abraham Lincoln, an abolition-sympathetic Republican, war was on. Before it ended in 1865 there were 828,000 Union casualties while the South experienced 864,000 casualties. There were almost a million civilians and free slaves left dead as well.

This ominous historical note is relevant today as the two sides in the American and Canadian debate slide inexorably toward a schism. With a presidential election this November and a Canadian federal election likely next year, the sides have given up on policy. Oh, they still make a show of plans for the economy. Or housing. Or the military.

But the real battlefield is the war on information. Who will be censored? Who will write history? As a picture of intolerance it has reached DefCon 4. No better example exists than the hissy-fit from employees of the NBC News department at the attempt to hire Rona McDaniel, former RNC chairwoman as an employee. The sanctimonious stars of NBC and MSNBC news— several of them Obama-era employees or Democratic fundraisers— launched a collective insurrection against the hire, saying McDaniel was a purveyor of lies and disinformation in the service of Beelzebub aka Donald Trump.

Never mind that Racial Maddow and Joyless Reid and Chuckles Todd spent the past eight years carrying water for Hillary Clinton’s demented RussiaGate and Hunter Biden’s laptop hoax. Former Republican Joe Scarborough spoke of the “sacred trust” with viewers as grounds for forcing NBC to fire McDaniel after about 48 hours.

No one is now allowed to pollute the minds of Morning Joe viewers. A narrative is a narrative, and no niece of Mitt Romney is getting in the way of that carefully crafted line as we head to November. Trump World is a cesspool of Nazis and enemies of democracy, and they’re going to play that card.

Viewers of last Sunday’s 60 Minutes saw a more subtle version of demonizing the other. In the fusty Tiffany Network style they introduced  Kate Starbird, a professor at the University of Washington and a leader of a “misinformation research group” created ahead of the 2020 election. Who gave her that title is left to the listeners’ imagination.

Naturally Ms. Starbird did a hit job on Jim Jordan and the GOP. Naturally, 60 Minutes neglected to mention Starboard is a longtime Democrat donor and foot soldier in the 2024 Biden Army. Naturally, the divide was widened further. The effect was achieved. Anyone voting Trump is a dedicated Nazi.

It will only ramp up from here because, with no successes to brag about and Biden’s polls plunging, fear is king. (Adding Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to siphon left-wing votes is another threat.) They know Biden is a millstone in efforts to eradicate Trump. And 40 percent of the U.S. population thinks this is reality, much the way the opposing sides at Antietam saw the devil across the Bloody Ditch and Antietam Bridge.

The federal Liberals in Canada have been paying attention. With polls that even Biden would faint over, Justin Trudeau is ramping up the disinformation dodge with the same fervour as the MSNBC fainting goats. Skippy has added a little Russian sauce to his equation, claiming that Putin has Conservative leader Pierre Polievre in his control, manipulating the public to abandon Ukraine.

How Ukraine figures in Canada’s national interest isn’t explained, but if Canadians elect the Tories next year Western society will collapse, pace Trudeau. The PM’s lightweight posse is jumping in, too. Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, who applauds Nazis in Parliament, is predicting a bleak future for the country unless the evil-thinkers to the Right are brought under control.

Hence Bill-63, the Liberal/ NDP diktat to criminalize WrongThink on the internet and what’s left on the traditional media. Not only in the run-up to what may be the Waterloo for Trudeau and NDP fashion model Jagmeet Singh. Freeland’s bill gives faceless bureaucrats the right to criminalize future behaviour as well. Holy Karnak!

There will be many attempts to pretend that permanently silencing the opponent is not the key issue of 2024-2025. Don’t believe them. People who just a few years ago laughed at the images of Mao’s purges in the Cultural Revolution now have succumbed to a new Little Red Book. They praise their heroes Obama and Clinton and demand jail for Trump. Hyperbole is dead. Big Brother killed him.

circa 1970: Chinese Red Guards reading from the little red book of Thoughts of Chairman Mao before starting their day. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Reverse Discrimination: The Bullying Of Caitlin Clark

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“@TheBabylonBee cheekily sums it up. “Caitlin Clark Canonized As Saint After Performing Miracle Of Making Women’s Basketball Watchable.” 

What a month or so it’s been for basketball star Caitlin Clark as she starts her WNBA career with the Indiana Something or Others. She’s had moments of triumph (30 points in a recent game). And a couple of duds. She’s also been roughed up physically with veteran players flagrantly fouling her, going out of their way to intimidate her physically. Initally, no foul was called on Chennedy Carter.

The League response to all this has been tepid refusal to rein in the veterans. NBA commissioner Adam Silver glibly called it a “welcome to the league” moment. (Clark says no hard feelings.) Most of which has played out in front of sellout crowds in a league that has papered more houses than a dry waller. “Confused WNBA Player Asks What This Huge Crowd Of People Is Doing At Game

And now women’s basketball’s young pole star has been left off the U.S. Olympic basketball team for Paris this July. You’d almost think the stars of the WNBA— a secondary sporting league at best propped up by the NBA— resent her being in their midst. That they fear she’ll break up the cozy LGBTQ/ BLM clubhouse they have going on. But we predicted as much in an April column entitled Now Comes The Complicated Part when her college career ended.

“The most interesting reaction may come from the women already in the WNBA. The intrusion of a white, conservative, straight Catholic woman in their midst won’t sit well in a league where women of that description have been made to feel unwelcome in many dressing rooms. She’ll need a tough hide to survive the resentment of other players who see themselves as the stars and Clark as a product of white privilege.”

That resentment has been naked and ugly from many who see themselves eclipsed by Clark’s obvious drawing power— and by their own inability to break the glass ceiling. “As we have written on multiple occasions, women’s sports has been in search of a marketable messiah to change it  from an ESPN liberal hype to mainstream. For too many in the audience— including women— the image of these sports has become too political. As the gender revolt took hold, fans were turned off by the strident lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Britney Griner who turned every game into a referendum on the latest #BLM talking points. 

“There was a resistance to their defiance and the craven submission of corporate voices infatuated by DEI praise. To some, players on opposing hockey terms marrying each other was jarring. But Clark seems to be breaking the mold. The advertising world will beat a path to her door despite the second consecutive defeat in the Women’s Final. She’ll be honoured with woman athlete of the year and more.”

And, apparently, she’ll be resented for it. Days ago stories claimed that a Clark fan harassed Chicago star Carter and other players when they got off their team bus and outside their hotel. Wonder why? Oh yeah, Carter levelled Clark with the cheap shot.) That stirred the pot until it was revealed that— holy Jussi Smollett— it was all made up. (Must be something about Chicago.)

If you needed more evidence that Clark is living rent-free in the brains of these prima donnas, the rebellion by the veterans of the Olympic basketball team tells you all you need to know. It’s a scene reminiscent of the played-out Rapinoe getting a spot on the U.S. National Women’s team in place of a younger player to placate the team’s “equilibrium”.

WNBA star Cheryl Reeve explained the Clark snub. “I’ve never been in the trenches with her. Not even at a USA Basketball camp. Asking a coach to integrate someone she has no history with, at tournament with highest stakes, is a lot. A lot a lot.” Similar noises came from other resentful players. Which is so much twaddle.

First, Team USA hasn’t lost an Olympic match since 1996. So the twelfth spot is hardly a game changer. Second, you could hire Joyce Behar to coach this team, and they wouldn’t lose. Third, Clark has played on USA FIBA teams winning gold in 2017, 2019, and 2021 with MVP honours . She won Nike Elite national championship during high school. Named Iowa Gatorade player of the year twice. She’s got the resumé.

But she doesn’t tick the right cultural boxes for the WNBA players and their political allies. That’s what happens when players coddled by ESPN and the Title IX zealots call the shots. Noted humanist and hooper Barack Obama made lots of noise about women athletes getting equal pay as their due, but he’s gone mute when black stars acted nasty toward a white athlete.

There’s no question that, having made tin gods of the WNBA players for political purposes, few in authority want to check that privilege. “Women’s basketball decision-makers are not dumb,” writes black journalist Jason Whitlock on X to explain the silence. “They’ve been bullied by the BLM-LGBTQIA+Silent P Alphabet Mafia bigots.” Adds Clay Travis, “Women’s basketball hates its fans and doesn’t want to grow their game. That’s the only conclusion you can draw from their treatment of Clark. She would quadruple their (Olympic) viewership by herself. No brainer.”

To say nothing of the USA jerseys she’d sell. But the political water carriers don’t care. They would return the WNBA to what it’s always been, a subsidized pet project for the progressives in media and government. Perhaps the most on-the-nose indicator about the WNBA’s image is that Toronto is getting a team in the league. It’s a non-binary marriage made in progressive heaven.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

The Phoney Hype For “Canada’s Team” In The Stanley Cup Final

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If you sometimes feel you’re being talked down to by your betters in mass media, there’s probably a reason. You are. From the forced demographics in films and culture to mandatory vaccines and lockdowns, the population are seen as daycare kiddos joined by a rope who must led in the ways of righteousness. Or, to be precise, leftishness.

Sometimes the massaging is blatant (do Canadian banks really want us to think all their employees are now black?) Sometimes it’s more subtle. Take, for example, the pizza restaurant commercials running incessantly during the NHL playoffs. They take the time to tell you that no Canadian team— repeat after us— has won a Stanley Cup since 1993 (ten points if you guessed Montreal). There are images of screens being crushed, balloons deflating. An unidentified Chris Cuthbert says, “It’s all over folks, the fun has come to an end.”

The dates of recent Final failures roll by showing walls that were punched, plates thrown through TV screen, transistor radios being tossed on the cement. So far accurate. But then Cuthbert pipes up. “Maybe it’s time we try something different?” (In case your hearing is deficient they scroll out “Maybe it’s time we try something different?”)

You’ll never guess their solution. Instead of booing our Canadian rival teams, maybe we should get behind whichever Canadian team makes it this far. “Let’s cheer with the fans we’ve always cheered against.” Pictures show people clinking glasses in camaraderie. (What happened to diversity?) Then the punch line.

“Team Up For The Cup”. This is the sort of pablum notion you get from people who drop in for the Final after spending the winter darning socks or attending NDP rallies. People we know actually believe it’s a government commercial. Even in the age of “Sinbad” Trudeau, this is inauthentic to the nth degree.

It all suggests “You fans are at fault.” A beer-soaked Kumbaya session is all that’s stood between Canada and a Cup since 1993. Of course the focus-group nimrods who think a Carbon Tax will change the weather could not be made to understand that the essence of fandom is 1) Our team wins 2) Your biggest rival loses.  No, with a little Liberal fairy dust we can all join hands behind Edmonton, now in the Final . That’s all it takes. As we say, inauthentic. Like dumping plastic bags for paper bags.

It put us in mind of an exchange we had with the quintessential Chrétien-era Liberal, Sheila Copps, she of the one million Canadian flags without lanyards debacle. In 2007, the Ottawa Senators made it to the Final. Needless to say the home of Canada’s bureaucracy was in heaven. In our 2008 book The Meaning of Puck , we recalled what happened when we suggested in the Calgary Herald that we weren’t going to “Team Up For The Cup”.

Former Liberal MP and Cabinet Minister Sheila Copps

Saying we wouldn’t go all Vimy Ridge for a team with a Trojan ad on their jersey, we asked why we should getting squishy about a team two time zones away. We added some gratuitous shots about Ottawa rolling up the sidewalks by 7 PM and Tulip Festivals. And praised the things we did share. Alberta’s oil money. Honk. Honk.

Before you could say Alfonso Gagliano, Ms. Copps, the pride of Hamilton, fired back in that quaint, understated style she’s known for. Using words like “despot” and a “dictator”, she accused us of using hockey to separate the nation.  Our “diatribe” was “hate-filled” as we mocked “tulips, tourists and the team… Dowbiggin’s message was a lot more dangerous than the separatists”, she railed.

Tulips bloom on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 1, 2009., on the first day of the Canadian Tulip Festival which runs from May 1st to the 18th. Ottawa was gifted 100,000 tulip bulbs in 1945 from Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in appreciation for the help Canada gave in liberating the Netherlands during WWII. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“Gussied up as a sports rant he thinks it’s perfectly okay to trash another part of Canada in the name of hockey.. Sports lynchers with a political agenda commit the worst kind of bigotry. In Western backhand ( note”: we lived our first 45 years in Quebec and Ontario), Dowbigggin excretes the same bile that almost cost our country twice.” Sports lyncher. Wow.

You’re welcome Sheila. Suggesting that “more astute readers may have discerned a touch of sarcasm and mirth in our original piece” we replied that this pro-Canada stand was rich coming from the government whose Sponsorship Scandal tore apart the nation and left their party to trust-fund Justin “the Jester” Trudeau.

“I’m always amused by Quebec parvenus such as Ms. Copps who think a French immersion course and a particularly hot weekend at the Juste Pour Rire festival make them an expert in the culture of La Belle Province… the parlous state of Quebec within Canada speaks to decades of Liberal vigilance on the separatist file.

“In the end it’s hard to tell which is funnier: Ms. Copps’ vitriolic defence of her record as a champion of Confederation or as a sudden covert to the culture of hockey in this country. But then, Ms. Copps, like most Liberals, never were very good at getting a joke.  Maybe because its was about them in the first place.”

Sadly, they don’t make ‘em like Sheila anymore. Now they slap you with a hate crime and take away your financial records. So good luck to Edmonton. We mean you no harm. Your crayon-coloured unis look great. Just don’t come running to the rest of Canada if you sprain your ankle on the Florida Panthers.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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